muji watchphoto © 2006 hirotomo t | more info (via: Wylio)While I was in college, I stopped wearing a watch. It happened one day that I was talking with one of my mentors and he suddenly asked me, “Do you have to be somewhere?” When I wondered why, he let me know that I had checked my watch three times over the course of our short conversation.

That was rude, I acknowledged. And then I stopped wearing a watch.

I realized that when I was not wearing a watch, I was less worried about every passing minute. I was less likely to be stressed over schedule. I was still early or on time for things, but time became more general and less specific.

As I get older (is 33 mid-thirties yet?), my relationship with time changes.

It used to be that I was always very early for everything I attended (at least when I could control it). Very early. Like 30 minutes early. It was part wanting to make sure I knew where to go and what to do and part wanting the confidence that comes with arriving before everyone else.

Then I met Jason Durham. Jason is late for everything. He was, in fact, late to the church on our wedding day (not late for the ceremony, but late for the pre-ceremony pictures). I have had  many stressful moments, begging him to hurry up and let’s go and hearing him respond, “What’s your hurry?” and “Five minutes late is on time for me–everyone knows that.”

Over the past ten years, I’ve become less of an early bird. I’m still punctual, but I’m okay with being on time and I’m fine with being the last person to enter a meeting or event.

I’m also less worried about the specific minutes on the clock. Fifteen, even ten years ago, my day was mapped out in minutes. Now, time is more of a guideline. I have a job that allows me some flexibility  as far as time and schedule goes, and I’m more comfortable with that flexibility. I appreciate my husband’s much more laid back sense of time and have adopted some of that attitude for myself.

I still do not wear a watch, although I do carry a timepiece with me (my phone). When I find myself mindlessly checking the time too often, I put it away. Life’s too short already.